“Outside my window / The birds dance alone / I sit back and take it in / Like some sort of medicine,” Julia Steiner sings off their upcoming album, The Window, produced by Chris Walla and recorded in the city of Seattle, their first recording out of their hometown. Steiner’s voice, like the birds, is some sort of medicine, and this record, while their most expansive and also the first written collaboratively with a full band from the beginning, (a dream of Steiner’s,) is a sort of homecoming for anyone who has enjoyed Ratboys’ music before.
The theme of windows occurs throughout the album, but the title track in particular is a moving tribute to the last time that her grandfather saw her grandmother, Sue, and the heartfelt song is worth the price of admission. “The window / I saw you through the window / We locked eyes and the window / Was open, felt the wind blow / I looked in, and I felt you with me / Yeah, I felt you with me.” It’s a song that acts as a salve for anyone who has lost a loved one and remembers their last moments together. The whole album is full of these meaningful moments, a little window, per se, into Steiner’s magnanimous soul.
The album rocks hard at times, like the raucous intro to the album, “Making Noise for the Ones You Love,” or the incendiary “Crossed That Line” with its satisfying, punky smorgasbord of chords. And there is even a three minute guitar solo on the eight minute song, “Black Earth, WI.” But it also belies their almost Americana roots at times, too, like on the precious, “Morning Zoo.” Steiner is a consummate songwriter and her voice is something that if you’re not familiar with, you’ll probably grow to be best friends with by the end of the record.
They said that they loved recording with Chris Walla, who approached the recording process in a warm and authentic way, forgoing technical jargon and instead saying things like “This cymbal hurts my feelings” and “This song is like a cat.” He pulls out the best in the full band arrangements, something that they had practiced and shared with Walla for six months of twice weekly practices during the lockdown. The result is a fully realized, forty five minute, eleven track album that’s sure to please Ratboy’s long time fans, and introduce others into the fold.
Pre-order The Window by Ratboys HERE
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